Local man pranks girlfriend in marriage proposal, goes viral


It's the moment many girls dream about, but Katie Barabas probably didn't picture her marriage proposal coming from a homeless man she didn't know.

It wasn't until he took off his disguise and got down on one knee that Katie recognized her boyfriend Mike King, and realized what was happening.

"He pulled one over on me and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way," Katie said. "It was awesome."

The couple volunteers with South Bend's "Feed the Hungry" program. They said they've become friends with the homeless people they've met and served over the last four years and couldn't picture sharing their special moment with anyone else.

So, Mike dressed up like a homeless man, then approached Katie while she was handing out food at Feed the Hungry.

"Since this is her favorite place and my favorite place and these are our favorite people, I didn't see any other option than that," Mike said.

Still wearing his disguise and in a different voice, Mike told Katie he thought she was cute, and popped the question a ring pop.

Katie said no.

So, Mike took off his mask and wig, got down on one knee, took out a real ring, and asked again.

This time, she said yes.

Cody Clemons, a friend of Mike's, filmed the whole proposal. Since Friday, the video's gone viral, even landing a spot on's home page.

"I'm scrolling through some sites and I see it on Huffington Post and AOL ... We had no idea this was going to happen," Clemons said. "They're just a really humble couple. And it was just fun watching them get this kind of exposure."

Katie said she was taken aback by the popularity of their video.

"I did not expect that. I was hoping to get some hits on YouTube, but to be on the main page of Yahoo?" she said.

Clemons said it was the couple, not the video itself, that got so many views.

"Their reaction of the proposal was just genuine. And that's really why it went viral," he said. "That's really what makes this couple so special. They're very involved in the community and they're always at Feed the Hungry. And they really care about people."

The couple said it's a moment they couldn't forget even if they tried.

"It makes me happier every time I watch it," Katie said.

Mike and Katie are seniors at Bethel College and plan to get married in May right after their graduation.